Proptech Weekly #27 — Property Partner and changing the world

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Friends, Feudal Landlords and Commoners,

As an indirect follow up to last week’s Proptech Weekly, CB Insights released data onProptech fundraising in the first 3 months of 2016.

If you’re a start-up founder in the UK whose name isn’t Dan Gandesha, you don’t figure on the list.

He can’t be the only Proptech founder with true ambition and the graft to back it up.

But numbers don’t often lie, and he’s the one growing his business and raising money in a way that’s making everyone’s head turn.

And as discussed last week, getting people talking is so damned important.

If you missed it, do catch up with Eddie Holmes’s interview with Dan on this podcast.

And of course, as a reader of Proptech Weekly, you’ll know Dan Gandesha is the founder of Property Partner, the site that let’s us invest in property from as little as 50 quid.

But I’m no evangelist. I have a big problem with Property Partner.

While I love their execution (I’m an avid user), and the product sings to ‘sophisticated’ investors, they aren’t changing the world.

No, opening up stock picking to the public doesn’t open up investing.

The parallel I use as an example is the stock market. When investing went from needing to call a stockbroker to pressing a button on a computer, the world and their Mums didn’t start investing.

They started investing when ‘funds’ made investing simple for the masses. And that’s key: the vast majority of money in the market is via funds. Not individual stock selection. It’s the reason Cash ISAs outnumber stocks and shares ISAs.

If you want the proof to my hypothesis, just look at all the adverts across London Property Partner are spending money on. Then look at the tiny sub-7,000 investors they have on their platform. That should tell you everything about the size of their market. And that you can’t spend your way into the right business model.

I’m a fan of Property Partner and Dan, but I go could on about the flaws; don’t get me started on the problems they’ll have sourcing stock. Like I said, not changing the world.

That’s why I really like :)

To end on a positive note, there is a lovely story about Property Partner’s first investment in Croydon. The existing tenant had an assured tenancy and her family had lived there a long time. As tenants. Property Partner buying the place gave her, for the first time, the ability to go on their platform and own part of her home. It’s not only a great story, but a massive indicator of where the future could/should be.

Please feel free to relay news, tips and comments @RayhanRESI

Rayhan’s PropTech Weekly XXVII

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Accor Hotels buys OneFineStay (Reuters)

This was without a doubt the big story of the week. For many, like investor Robin Klein, this was a great result. For others, like Doug Scott, this was a clear failure of European VC. How does exiting for over $100m constitute a failure? Well, when you plough in $90m of funding and don’t back them to infinity and beyond would be one thing. But Doug had issue with many aspects. You absolutely must read his tweetstorm before reading the press piece: Press Tweetstorm

Settled raises £1m to build self-service home selling platform (CityAM)

But don’t call it an online agent: Link

Pi Labs moves in with The Collective (CityAM)

After the breakdown of their first marriage to Cushman and Wakefield, Pi Labs got the bum deal in the divorce with C&W taking the marital (Second)home, Faisal has happily run into the arms of the dashing Reza Merchant at the ‘dorm rooms for adults’ company The Collective: Link

Compstak has arrived in London

The only Commercial Real Estate start-up that is genuinely changing the world, is now finally in the centre of the real estate world: Link

Eddie Holmes’s Proptech Podcast episode 3 featuring two investors and an estate agent

By far the best episode of this podcast series focused on Proptech. A real insight into how little excitement there is in the Proptech space, beyond Fixflo and Property Partner: Link

Need something fixed? Call DAD (Realpundit)

A UK start-up with genuine change the world potential and the best Twitter handle ever:Link